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Registered property rights


A patent protects your invention. The invention must be new and inventive at the time of filing. New means that the content of the invention must not belong to the prior art. Prior art is everything that has been made available to the public before the filing date, somewhere in this world, by whatever means.

It is very important not to show or publish your invention before filing. It would then be prior art and no longer new.

A patent is a territorial right and limited in time. Thus, protection is only given in the countries where the patent is applied for and granted. It is an exclusive right and makes it possible to exclude others from manufacturing, distributing or using the subject matter of the invention on a business basis.


To extend protection in other countries, it is very important to consider priority. If you have already filed a patent application in one country, you have exactly 12 months (priority year) to file the same patent application in another country. In doing so, you must claim the priority of an earlier application in the new application. The earlier application must be a first application, i.e. it cannot claim another priority in turn. Claiming priority is of course also possible for international and European applications.

Examination and application procedure

After you have applied for a patent for your invention, your application documents (formal) and your invention (substantive) will be examined. You will receive the result of the examination in writing in the form of a preliminary decision, on which you can comment within a certain period of time. You can correct any deficiencies or limitations of your application for protection based on the prior art researched by the Austrian Patent Office within this period. If this is not done or is done inadequately, your application will be rejected.

18 months after the filing date (or priority date, if applicable), your originally filed application documents will be published together with a search report (if already available) and any final claims. You will receive provisional protection from the date of publication, if the application ultimately results in a grant.

If you wish to have your originally filed documents published before these 18 months, you may request this by means of an informal letter. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the documents are formally in order.


If there are no objections, the decision to grant will be made and the patent will be granted after the decision has become final (expiry of a period after the notification of the decision to grant).

Patent protection begins with the registration of the patent and its publication in the Patent Gazette. The patent specification is made available on the publication server and a patent certificate is issued.

A utility model protects your invention in Austria in the same way as a patent. You need the same application documents as for a patent application, but there are differences in the procedure, duration of protection, costs, etc.

In contrast to a patent application, the novelty and inventive step of the invention are not examined. If your utility model is formally in order, you will only be sent a search report regarding the novelty and inventiveness of the claims. If you pay the registration fee, your utility model will be registered even if it is not novel and inventive according to the search report. The advantage is that you usually get your protection faster. The disadvantage is that utility models that would not stand up to invalidity proceedings will also be registered. Thus, in spite of its advantages, utility model protection can actually occasionally turn out to be something of a liability. This is especially the case whenever there is an extant valid search report and you run the risk of third parties filing an application for declaration of invalidity.

It takes an average of eleven months until registration. However, you can apply for accelerated registration in return for a surcharge payment. In this case, the application is registered immediately after a positive legality examination and the utility model is published. Only then is the search report drawn up and also published.

The utility model protection starts with the registration in the Utility Model Register ordered by the examiner and the publication in the Utility Model Gazette. The utility model document is made available on the publication server and a utility model certificate is issued.

The following are not considered inventions and are therefore not protectable by means of a utility model:

  • discoveries as well as scientific theories and mathematical methods
  • aesthetic creations
  • plans, rules and methods for mental activities, for games or for business activities as well as programs for data processing equipment
  • the reproduction of information
  • inventions that contradict the generally accepted laws of nature (law of energy, law of momentum, etc.), such as a perpetual motion machine.

A trademark is a corporate identifier that distinguishes goods and services from different producers/providers. It enables consumers to identify the source of what is on offer. In business dealings, it serves the company as a means of differentiation from others and as an indispensable marketing tool. Trademark law is a territorial right, i.e. protection is only granted in the countries where it is applied for and granted. It is an exclusive right. The trademark owner may prohibit third parties form using an identical or similar sign to their trademark in the course of trade for identical or similar goods without their consent, if this would create a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public


In order to extend protection into other countries, it is very important to consider priority. If you have already filed a first application for the same trademark for the same goods and/or services abroad, you can claim the filing date of this first application for your current application, if the filing date of the first application is no more than six months before the one of your current application. Your application will then be treated as if it had already been filed on the date of the first filing.

As this is a territorial exclusion right, it is particularly important to consider right at the start of the business activity in which countries protection is required and in which countries there could be conflicts with older rights.

The design or pattern protects the appearance, i.e. the features of an industrial product that are perceptible to the eye. This includes, for example, the color, the shape, the surface structure and the material. Both three-dimensional and two-dimensional objects can be protected as designs, such as clothing, toys, furniture, fabrics, logos or graphic symbols. Design protection represents a territorial and time-limited right of exclusion (monopoly, maximum 25 years) which enables registered holders of designs to defend themselves against imitators.